Press Release
Cairo, 12 July 2005
Analysis of the 'crimes caused due to poverty' published in the Red Handed columns in the Egyptian newspapers
During the period from 1st March till 30th June 2005

The Developmental Media program of the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issued today its second report on crimes caused due to poverty. This report monitors the problems of development and human rights in the Egyptian press. FDHRD has already issued its first report named "The complaints record - DIWAN EL MAZALEM" which is an analysis of the contents of the newspapers columns on complaints received by citezens.

This second report monitors and analyzes the contents of the Red Handed columns in the Egyptian daily newspapers, which are Al Akhbar, Al Ahram and Al Wafd as well as weekly newspapers, which are Al Osbou and Sawt Al Omah. This report is issued every 4 months by FDHRD in order to carry on its activities in participating in efforts exerted to address issues related to development and human rights as well as to highlight them to the whole society and its institutions.

The report demonstrates the negative consequences of poverty, which leads some individuals to commit crimes that include cruel crimes. Those people commit such crimes in order to evade the cruel poverty. These acts do not lead only to the hindering of the process of development in Egypt but it leads t the threatening of the stability of society and the violations of the values of forgiveness.

This report observed the following:
First: number of crimes caused due to poverty during the period from 1st March till 30th June 2005 reached 197 crimes which means that were 1.6 crimes daily. In addition, number of citezens who committed such crimes reached 360 citezens.

Second: The highest number of such crimes were committed in Cairo governorate as there were 80 crimes committed in Cairo. Then, number of crimes committed in Giza was 30 and in Alexandria and Gharbiya governorates reached 17 crimes.

Then the fourth highest number of crimes was in Qena governorate as there were 10 crimes there. In addition, there were 7 crimes in El Qalyoubiya and Sohag governorate and 4 crimes in El Fayoum and El Sharkiyia governorates. Furthermore, there were 2 crimes in El Monofyia governorate, 2 in Asyout governorate, 2 in Luxur and 2 in Kafr El Shiekh governorate. Finally, in El Ismalia , El Wahat El Bahariyia, Beni Sweef, Aswan and North Sainia governorates there was one crime in each governorate of them.

Third: Poverty was the main reason that led to the committing of such crimes. These crimes were 98 murder crimes, 43 thefts crimes , 13 begging crimes and 15 suicide crimes due to poverty.

Fourth: the education of the perpetrators was as follows; 15 persons had university degrees, 23 persons had preparatory education, 166 persons were illiterate while the education of 146 was not mentioned in the newspapers.

Fifth: it was noted that 294 of the perpetrators were males while 57 were females and 109 were juveniles.

Sixth: The amounts of money that was the subject of the crimes ranged from 5 to 2000 L.E. Seventh: The percentage of crimes caused due to poverty reached 9.6% of the total number of crimes as there were 2062 crimes published in the above mentioned newspapers during the period from 1st March till 30 June 2005.

Eighth: number of crimes caused due to poverty within the same family or among relatives reached 75 crimes, which constitutes 38.1 % of the total crimes monitored by this report.

Ninth: This report monitored that there were no crimes caused due to poverty in the governorates of Red Sea, Port Said, Swess, South Sainia and Wadi El Gedeed.

Finally, this report suggests the following recommendations:
  • The necessity of adopting social and civil projects to support the poor as well as encouraging the private sectors including the legislative and administrative ones in order to carry out investments.
  • Putting a strategic plan aiming at providing rural women with work opportunities because the rate of unemployment among the rural women is four times the rate of unemployment among men.
  • The necessity of the existence of local and foreign support of the resources of the social fund for development in order to participate in providing work opportunities for youth.
  • Decreasing the gap between rural and urban areas in providing health services and medicines. When issuing this report, FDHRD hopes that this report will participate in drawing attention to the negative consequences of the problems of poverty in Egypt. On the other hand, it calls for the competent authorities, civil society institutions and media means to work on participating in eliminating poverty in Egypt.
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